China's Life Expectancy by Province Mapped

By Ella Wong, November 24, 2015

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If the Chinese birthday tradition of eating noodles – whose length symbolizes longevity – really does extend one’s life, a bowl of the Shanghai staple congyou ban mian (scallion oil tossed noodles) would be a true breakfast of champions, with the average Shanghainese living until the ripe old age of 83 – as long as the Swiss.

A recent study published in The Lancet found that although average life expectancy in China has increased by a substantial eight years since 1990, considerable disparity remains between the provinces, with life expectancy in Tibet on par with Moldova at 70.

This map from The Economist shows each of China’ 33 provincial-level administrative regions matched with the country whose life expectancy is the most similar.

Map of life expectancy in China by province

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